Recently, NASA unveiled the planned launch dates for its new Artemis I rocket test flight to go around the Moon as it prepares for a future that will include a human ferrying mission to the surface of the moon by 2025.
The upcoming dates of August 29, September 2, and September 5 will be the selected placeholder times for the uncrewed flight planned to orbit the Moon, according to a teleconference conducted on Wednesday by NASA to the media.
“The first in a series of increasingly complex missions, Artemis I will be an uncrewed flight test that will provide a foundation for human exploration in deep space and demonstrate our commitment and capability to extend human existence to the Moon and eventually Mars,” as read in a release sent out by NASA.
— NASA (@NASA) July 20, 2022
The announcement of these launch dates comes in the wake of the recent successful tests or “dress rehearsal[s]” from the team that was necessary in order to continue forward with the launches as planned.
The teleconference with the media was held specifically on the 53rd anniversary of the Moon landing of Apollo 11 in 1969, during which the very first humans managed to set foot on the moon. As stated in a video released by NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, many astronauts’ tracks from that mission are still able to be seen.
It’s #InternationalMoonDay! Today marks the anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing – the first time that humans stepped on the surface of another world. This video from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter shows the astronauts' tracks, still there after all this time. pic.twitter.com/LVDkFeEcYP
— NASA Moon (@NASAMoon) July 20, 2022
The last moon landing took place in 1972, with NASA now aggressively planning a way to return to the surface of the moon.
The Artemis I from NASA is the precursor to the Artemis II that is on pace to launch for the very first time in 2024. The space agency has set its goal as making sure that humans return to the Moon’s surface in 2025 or 2026.
These Artemis missions from NASA seek to land the first woman and the first person of color on the Moon. This space program also wants to “collaborate with commercial and international partners and establish the first long-term presence on the Moon.”
Additionally, the Artemis mission goes further than the Moon. NASA plans to “use what we learn on and around the Moon to take the next giant leap: sending the first astronauts to Mars.”
NASA is not alone in its pursuits to get back to the Moon and beyond. Elon Musk, the founder of SpaceX, stated during an interview with Time magazine from December that he hopes to try and get to the Moon by as soon as 2023 and stated a goal of humans making it to Mars by the end of the decade.